News

Leading Orthodox groups cheered the end of Roe v. Wade. Many Orthodox women are panicking.

June 30, 2022

Pam Scheininger and J. David Bleich have this much in common: They are Orthodox Jews who are preoccupied with Jewish ethics and teach at New York City law schools.

But when Scheininger looks at an American map, she sees 16 states where Orthodox Jewish women would not be able to have an abortion otherwise sanctioned by Jewish law. Bleich sees a different number — zero.

Disagreements among Jews over where Jewish and state laws intersect on abortion, once theoretical, have taken on urgency in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this week overturning Roe v. Wade...

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Queer artists are reclaiming religion for the kids they used to be-and the ones still left

June 30, 2022

At 31 years old, Grace Semler Baldridge is still a preacher's kid. 

The musician, who spent her childhood growing up in a rectory, didn't ever think she would write an entire album about her religious upbringing. But when the pandemic left her with nothing but time to focus on her music, the end result was an album Baldridge couldn't have predicted. 

"Preacher's Kid" is a musical exploration about growing up in the Christian faith and how that life impacted how she embraced her queer identity. Recorded with her laptop and small microphone, she never...

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Grand Rapids church won't remove gay deacon, votes to appeal denomination's order

June 29, 2022

A Grand Rapids, Michigan, Christian Reformed congregation that was ordered to rescind the ordination of a deacon in a same-sex marriage has voted to appeal the decision. The unprecedented step sends the matter to the small Dutch Calvinist denomination, which has no established procedure to expel a congregation. 

Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church ordained the deacon, a woman who has asked to remain unnamed out of fears for her safety, in 2020. Earlier this month, the denomination’s annual synod, which had not met in the interim due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ordered...

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Some teachers alarmed by Florida civics training on religion, slavery

June 28, 2022

Several South Florida high school educators are alarmed that a new state civics initiative designed to prepare students to be “virtuous citizens” is infused with a Christian and conservative ideology after a three-day training session in Broward County last week.

Teachers who spoke to the Times/Herald said they don’t object to the state’s new standards for civics, but they do take issue with how the state wants them to be taught.

“It was very skewed,” said Barbara Segal, a 12th-grade government teacher at Fort Lauderdale High School. “There was a very strong...

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Boise High grad brings community together to counter local Baptist pastor

June 28, 2022

Lizzy Duke-Moe, a Boise High School graduate who is attending Brown University in the fall, was spurred into action last week to counter a local Baptist pastor who called for the death of all gay people.

Duke-Moe said in an email that her mom, Keely Duke, and stepmom, Sarah Seidl are married — “they got married in Idaho,” Duke-Moe said, and her mother had shown her an article about the pastor’s sermons. “And...

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Gay Catholic advocacy group DignityUSA prepares to host 25th national conference

June 28, 2022

DignityUSA, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ Catholics, is gearing up for its first in-person national conference since 2019.

The group, which has been active since 1969, will host its 25th national conference — "Proclaiming Our Vision: Church Transfigured" — in San Diego July 8-10. The conference will feature several leading Catholic voices including keynote speaker Victor Carmona, a theologian at the University of San Diego. He will speak on the shared experiences of LGBTQ+ and immigrant Catholics. Other...

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LGBTQ youth of faith retell their stories to inspire others

June 27, 2022

Sabrina Hodak grew up in a Modern Jewish Orthodox family but only truly embraced Judaism at age 16, around the same time she understood she was bisexual.

It was an upsetting and confusing time, because the same religious mentors who helped her strengthen her beliefs kept saying her sexuality would conflict with her faith.

“That was very frustrating, because I also knew that a lot of other religious people believed that,” said Hodak, now a 19-year-old psychology major at Florida International University. In her journal, she kept asking, “Can I please just find...

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Penn State hosts powwow; teaches Native American culture, spirituality

June 26, 2022

Penn State University sponsored a traditional Native American powwow Saturday and Sunday. People from a number of tribes and nations gathered at a State College middle school to celebrate Native American culture and spirituality.

It's an old tradition, but for many people in State College, this was their first experience with a powwow.

"It is many things at once," Victoria Sanchez, the powwow's associate coordinator, told 6 News on Sunday. "It is a celebration. It is almost like a family reunion where people come together and enjoy each other's company."

...

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Is Intermarriage Good for the Jews?

June 23, 2022

In 1990, American Jews decided they had no future.

That was the year the National Jewish Population Survey—then the most comprehensive study of American Jewry ever undertaken—revealed that more than half of America’s Jews, 52%, were intermarried. Though the report itself was even-keeled in its analysis, the reaction among many Jews veered toward panic.

Intermarried couples weren’t raising their...

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Supreme Court's religious school ruling signals 'dangerous road' for LGBTQ rights, advocates say

June 23, 2022

A Supreme Court decision allowing taxpayer dollars to help pay for tuition at schools that offer religious instruction has sparked concerns about the potential implications of the ruling on LGBTQ rights. 

In a 6-3 vote, the court ruled Tuesday that Maine could not prohibit parents from using a state-funded tuition assistance program to pay for their...

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